The Prime Minister of Malaysia condemned the recent act of Islamophobia committed by a Swedish-Danish politician who burned a copy of the Quran. Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim released a statement criticising the burning of Islam’s holy book in Stockholm, Sweden by far-right politician Rasmus Paludan.
“Malaysia urges the Swedish government to take urgent measures against the perpetrators of this vile act, as well as ensuring drastic steps in the future to address the alarming rise of Islamophobia in Sweden. Such a blatant defilement of Islam’s holy book by the Swedish politician and the inaction are tantamount to fomenting Islamophobia, and constitutes a grave provocation to the sensitivities of not just Turkey but more than two billion Muslims in the world.”
Paludan, the leader of the Stram Kurs (Hard Line) party, is known for his anti-Islam stance. He began his practice of openly burning the Quran last year, as he and his political party toured Sweden to campaign and stir hate.
Sweden has a very relaxed legal stance on inciteful speech, erring on the side of protecting free expression and the right to demonstrate. As such, police in Stockholm granted Paludan permission to burn the Quran outside the Turkish embassy.
When he did so yesterday, a planned meeting between Turkey and Sweden’s Defense Minister was cancelled. The meeting intended to resolve conflicts regarding Sweden’s petition to join the NATO military alliance against Turkey’s objections.
Prime Minister Ibrahim spoke out against the growing amount of hate crimes targeting Muslims. Around the world, verbal and physical attacks, racism and incitement of hate have been on the rise. He emphasized that Malaysia denounces all forms of such crimes and is deeply concerned about the growing wave of hate speech based on faith or ethnicity.
He called for people of the world to practice tolerance and mutual respect to solve problems and urged the international community to stand together in condemning all hate speech and violence. He said racial and religious intolerance should never be considered acceptable forms of expression.